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Tiffany Gray is the mama of five behind @thegraygang on Instagram where she is known for her soul baring tell-it-like-it-is account from the trenches of motherhood.
The Gray Gang moved into a new home last summer and we were thrilled when Tiffany called us up for some pieces. We’ve loved following along as they’ve adventured through life and settled into their new home.
In celebration of Mother's Day and everything motherhood - from the heartwarming to the heartbreaking - we’re sharing some of our favorite motherhood quotes from Tiffany and a glimpse into the Gray home.
“We can never really prepare ourselves for Motherhood. There are no professional parents. We can talk to all the experts & read all the books & do all the research … and it will still catch us completely off guard - while ripping our fragile hearts into a million little pieces; only to rearrange them again & again. But it’s always gonna leave us better. Always.”
Tiffany and her daughter at home in Oregon / Canvas Bee Prints from City Home
"Motherhood has this unordinary way of not letting us get too far ahead of ourselves. We must travel in order. Figuring it out as we go. It doesn’t allow us to rewind, skip ahead, or take a peak at the ending. It only reveals what we need to know right now, season-by-season, not a moment sooner ... and that’s ok ... because all we have is today anyways."
In the kitchen with The Gray Gang / Metropolis Bar Stools from City Home
“I may never learn how to knit or lose the postpartum weight. I may never run a marathon or see the Northern Lights. I may never return to my birthplace or teach my kids to ski. I may never play my part on the PTA or write that memoir about my mother. I may never get around to building a new pantry or mending the bridge with an old friend. I may never celebrate my 40th in New York City or retire with my husband in Hood River. All my “someday maybes” can wait indefinitely as long as I can spend this lifetime KNOWING my children — not just saying I ‘know’ them or pretending I ‘know’ them but really, truly, undeniably know them ... with every little vessel of my beating heart ... because, in the end, it’s all I want from this privilege called Motherhood.”
A quiet moment away from the gang / Daphne Sofa from City Home
“I wanna create a life that I embrace … this means letting myself be an imperfect mom. Letting myself be a flawed friend & a limited wife. This means accepting the truth that I am wildly unfinished; I don't need to fix myself or go on a retreat alone - I need to cherish who I am right now. This means not comparing myself to other women on the internet or in my own community. This means letting my house be messy. This means saying no to A LOT to crap that just doesn't matter; the nonessentials that I convince myself that I should be doing because everyone else is."
The Gray Kids
Q: What was the best mother's day gift you ever received?
A: Honestly, the best Mother's Day gift I ever received was my first born son, Raleigh. He gave me a pregnancy from hell. I brought him home from the hospital the morning of Mother's Day after almost three weeks of stressful bed rest. I named him Raleigh, and to me, he looked like an angel. I had never seen anything so beautiful and those few days following his birth were some of the happiest moments of my life.
Q: What's your best advice on motherhood for new moms just starting out on their journey?
A: You can never spoil a baby. There is no "right" way of doing this; no manual to buy. Put away all the books & blogs and let your intuition guide you. The lower your expectations, the better. Motherhood is not about what you see in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog. It is about YOUR journey with YOUR kids. Yes - its incredibly hard but lean in as much as your heart will let you. This season of being in the trenches is so fast & fleeting - and despite how tired you may be now, one day you will look back & give anything to rock your newborn sleep just one more time. Go slow, friends.
Q: What's the most heartbreaking thing about motherhood?
A: The most heartbreaking thing about Motherhood is watching them spread their wings without and yet because of you. A bursting heart feels an awful lot like a breaking one. And being a proud mama often comes with pain. You raise your kids to go into the world & fly high - but there is a huge part of us that wishes we could keep them all to ourselves ... in a bunker.
Q: What is your definition of motherhood?
A: For me, Motherhood is emotional & exhausting. It's painfully mundane and yet still remarkably magical. It's seeing the world's true potential from the eyes of your child. It's knowing when to hold on & let go. Motherhood is about unwrapping the best version of you. It's the ultimate sacrifice as you gotta share your body, your bed, your home, your heart, your minutes, your money, your sleep, your sanity ... your freakin' everything. Its learning how to grocery shop like a superhero. And answer the phone, change a diaper & pour some cereal at the same time. It's the hardest holiest humbling work you will ever do. Motherhood is love in motion. The type of love that has the final say. The type of love that ignites miracles. The type of love the rewrites history and leaves a legacy behind.
Q: How do you make sure to balance time for yourself with being a mom of five?
A: I personally kinda feel like balance is a unicorn. It's a myth. It doesn't really exist. I am unable to fit everything I wanna do it in day or a week or a month; no matter how hard I try. My personal goal is to stay clear of guilt, saying yes to the stuff that matters, and just live my priorities. Self-care is basically listening to a podcast, in the bath, at 9pm at night after the the kids go to bed. The truth is I don't have a lot of "me time" right now; that season of life will come later. The good news is everything is temporary.
Q: Where are some of your favorite spots to take the family in Portland?
A: We love Fields Park. The kids have a blast getting VooDoo donuts and walking around Saturday Market. The zoo is always fun - so is Portland Children's Museum. Our preferred toy stores is Child's Play on 23rd & Oodles 4 Kids in Sellwood. Lake Oswego's Farmers Market is probably our favorite. Picking berries out on Sauvie Island is always a winner. We would choose to get lost in Powell's any day of the week. In the summer, we try to hit up at the Street Fairs. The big Eastmoreland Garage Sales in June are a tradition. Grand Central Bakery is a staple for lunch; same with Whole Bowl. Ha! I suppose we are typical "Portlanders."
Q: What's your favorite family friendly travel destination?
A: We adore Seabrook, Washington. Its magical and its tricky to explain why but you just gotta go experience it. It feels like a slice of coastal heaven in the middle of nowhere. The community was built with such intention & purpose.
Q: What are your top 10 favorite Instagram accounts to follow right now?
A: Here are ten mamas on Instagram that I have been loving for as long as I can remember
Shoot. I think that's eleven. What can I say? It's a true sisterhood over there.